Yasiel Puig has not been in the minors long, but the Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect will get a chance to make a name for himself in the big leagues. Puig will make his Major League Baseball debut on Monday in the outfield.
The Dodgers were not exactly ready to call up Puig to the majors, but they did not have much choice. With Matt Kemp on the 15-day disabled list and Carl Crawford dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, Los Angeles needed a Minor League player to step in. Ideally, the Dodgers would have preferred Puig to spend more time in Double-A but duty calls.
The 22-year-old absolutely dominated in Spring Training, his first with the Dodgers. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound slugger batted .517 with three home runs, 11 RBI, five doubles, two triples and four stolen bases in 58 at-bats. If it were not Kemp, Crawford and Andre Ethier starting in the outfield, there is a decent chance that Puig would have been given a roster spot.
With the team’s season going downhill fast, Los Angeles is forced to make a move they did not want to until September. It is either going to be a blessing in disguise with Puig continuing his dominance, or it is going to be a huge mistake that will rattle his confidence. I am betting that he proves to everyone over the next week why he is supposed to be a big deal. However, fans should not expect too much too fast.
“You don’t want to build him up to where it’s impossible for him to live up to all the hype,” manager Don Mattingly said, according to Dodgers.com. “In my mind, he’s still a young player, obviously with huge potential.
“There’s still so much baseball, and I don’t say that in a flippant way that these games don’t matter. But you saw with the Angels and Mike Trout last year, he came up and things completely turned around with what he brought to the table. It’s unfair to say that happens here, but he could make a big impact.”
Puig posted a .313 batting average with eight home runs, 37 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples and 13 stolen bases in 147 at-bats in Double-A this season.